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Promoting British Values at St Edmund's RC Primary School. The DfE have recently reinforced the need "to create and enforce a clear and rigorous expectation on all schools to promote the fundamental British values of democracy, the rule of law, individual liberty and mutual respect and tolerance of those with different faiths and beliefs". The government set out its definition of British values in the 2011 Prevent Strategy, and these values have been reiterated by the Prime Minister this year (2014). St Edmund's RC Primary School is committed to actively promoting the fundamental British values of democracy, the rule of law, individual liberty and mutual respect and tolerance of those with different faiths and beliefs.
On the 15th October, all children in school took part in a British Values focus week. During this week pupils explored the what democracy means and how democratic processes affect our everyday lives. Key vocabulary explored during this week included: democracy, vote, ballot, government, parliament, council, representative, campaign and society.
Children in Key Stage 2 used extracts from 'Discover the UK parliament' in guided reading which is available below. In Key Stage 1, pupils used the text 'The day the crayons quit' by Oliver Jeffers to support their understanding of democracy.
The children discussed making sure everything is fair and that everybody has a voice. They created some rules for our own classrooms. Then they had a vote at the end of the day to decide which story we could read as a class.
The children read the story Farmer Duck and discussed how the farmer was treating the duck unfairly. They did a walking debate to explore things being fair and unfair.
The children in Lower Key Stage 2 have been learning about democratic processes in their guided reading sessions. They have been reviewing related vocabulary and checking their understanding of each word.
Children in Lower Key Stage 2 also looked at role models within the classroom. They created a campaign and each had a vote on who the class role model will be for this half term. They had the opportunity to vote for which story they would like to hear and to create a timeline about British Parliament.
To explore the concept of democracy, children in Y6 formed political parties who were responsible for debating ways in which they can improve our school.
They developed their ideas into pledges which they presented to their classes. After that, the children voted for the pledges they preferred.
Lots of their ideas were about having more choice and responsibility. Y6's next job is to speak to their elected school councillors to get their voices heard.
The importance of Laws or rules is reinforced in many ways. These include class rules and wider school rules. School rules and values apply to all and are to be clearly understood as a framework for the way we all conduct ourselves. The need for rules is often discussed in assemblies and through our PSHE (personal, social and health education) programme. Mutual Respect
Our school ethos is built around our mission statement. We are a family, where God is at the heart of everything we do; where everyone is welcomed; where everyone is loved respected and cared for and where everyone is helped to achieve their very best. This is covered further in our weekly 'Statement to Live By'. The 'Statement to Live By' is often at the heart of discussions in Circle Time, Assemblies, Collective Worship, School Council meetings and in staff meetings. We regularly ask parents and carers for their views on our school (Parent/Carer Voice) and how it meets the needs of their child in terms of their happiness and wellbeing. We hope that by living in an environment where mutual respect is demonstrated daily they will enter the wider world understanding its importance.
During the week of the 19th November, the children at St Edmund's have been reviewing their class rules and the rules of other setting/ places. We have looked in detail at British laws including the role of parliament in creating laws, and reviewing laws at a national and local level. The role of the Queen was also discussed in relation to law-making.
In Key Stage 1, the children have been learning how to live together with others and how to get along. This has included looking at how to behave and creating rules to make sure that everyone behaves in a similar way showing respect for all.
They have also looked at their role in society and the role of others.
The children in Lower Key Stage 2 created games focusing on the value and purpose of the rules when playing them. They also spent time ensuring that they were able to express the rules clearly and simply so that they could be understood by a wide range of audiences.
In Upper Key Stage 2, the children looked at how laws are created and the roles that the House of Parliament, House of Lords and the Monarchy play in the process.
During the Spring term, pupils reviewed their rights and responsibilities. They looked in detail at what makes them unique and what they are entitled to in society.
At St Edmund's our pastoral policies such as the Behaviour Policy, Anti-Bullying Policy and Equality Policy, ensure that all children can learn in a safe environment. Children are encouraged to know, understand and exercise their rights and personal freedoms and to know how to keep themselves safe. We work with agencies such as Childline, Greater Manchester Police and Health professionals. We are committed to ensuring that our children know how to keep themselves healthy and fit in order to fully enjoy their lives now and in adulthood.
Tolerance of those of Different Faiths and Beliefs
We want our children to understand the wider community they live in as well as the global community and how they can contribute to both and make a difference. As a Catholic School our relationship with the Church and the local community is very important.
In Year 1 and 2, children talked about how they see themselves: how they feel and what they think about the world around them.
They learned about respect and the importance of learning how to be sensitive of the views or the people around them.
They talked about the decision- making process and how to use the opinions of others to support decisions made.
Children in Year 3 and 4 created booklets titled 'Free to be Me' recording information about themselves and their hope and dreams for the future for themselves and the world around them.
In Upper Key Stage 2, the children talked about the importance of human rights. They talked about which were more important in their opinion and why. They were given scenarios where people, for a variety of reasons, had lost their human rights and discussed how they felt about it and what action should be taken.